Several years ago, during a treatment session with one of my practitioners, understanding the connection between mind-body-spirit, I asked her about what she saw as some of the underlying causes of my illness and disease, from an emotional, mental and spiritual perspective. She was surprised at my question and responded by telling me that many of her clients and students were very reluctant to ask this sort of question, and even more afraid to hear the answer. It seemed odd to me, that since we are co-creators of our own reality, including the domain of the physical body, we wouldn’t want to understand how, what and who we are, shapes who we become and our health status.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve caused our illness directly, and completely in a conscious way, as the root causes of disease lays hidden at much deeper levels in us, in the subconscious mind and soul. The beliefs and perceptions that are spawned and take hold of us, are generated through our experiences that develop into thoughts, which in turn create emotions, both positive and negative. Some of these experiences are ‘pre-programmed’ for each of us as souls, and are part of our destiny, so that we are faced with certain challenges (including disease) as a means of learning. Others are simply those we have chosen, based on our personalities, lifestyle or interests. In the truest sense, as souls, our mission is none other than to acquire experiences, no matter what they are, in order to learn and expand our consciousness. But many have forgotten this, and have become too focused in the minutiae of the experiences themselves to see the mind-made reality that we create for ourselves. We cannot be afraid of who we are and the things that happen to us by life’s intelligent design.
It doesn’t help that we live in a world predicated on the consciousness of fear- there are wars, there is poverty and injustice, as well as death and disease. This fear represents the lens of duality through which our beliefs and perceptions are filtered. In this place of duality, we sit in a place of judgement and we tend to gauge our observations, experiences and ourselves as being good or bad. It’s the bad things that make us afraid. Our egos are very good at legitimizing our thoughts and feelings, and protecting us from dealing with our deeper selves. The fear of learning to understand who we might be, surrounds us and protects us from our own vulnerability and perceived weakness. Fear teaches us that we should be wary and uncertain of what we do not know about ourselves. For those of us that are ill, it makes us scared about discovering what is wrong with us or in our bodies and propagates our worries about what might happen to us because we are sick. This is particularly so when there are unknowns- when our conditions remain undiagnosed, we experience unrelenting chronic pain and we have no idea of the real cause, when or if it will stop, or when there seems to be little chance of a positive health outcome. To add to this, the fear in us begets more suffering.
A while ago, one of my mentors described duality much like being in the middle of a canoe, with one person on each end. We might judge someone by saying the person on one end shouldn’t do this or that, and in doing so, we step a little farther towards that end of the canoe. We think we are moving the balance point, but now the canoe begins to sink on the side we just moved toward. Then everyone else moves to compensate for that shift and moves to the other side. We keep going left and right, not maintaining balance at all, and are only perpetuating the cycle. It is very hard in life not to take a side, even with ourselves. But sometimes, contrast can be a big springboard that can motivate us into something else. We can awaken to the illusion of the reality of who we really are, and begin to step out of this cycle of duality.
Healing through self-awareness, enables us to change the old belief patterns into ways that transform us on all levels of our being. In order to be in balance, we have to become neutral, knowing that the experiences we are having, are perfect us, and our soul’s path. We can come from a place of self-love and acceptance, without being emotionally attached to our own illness and disease. There is neither a negative nor a positive charge associated with our feelings- they are neutral when we are in balance. There is no charge, no pull in one direction, no self-pity, fear or shame. When we recognize we have gone into a duality mode over a situation, we can make a conscious choice to move back again, and step out of the behavior pattern. Habits are simply engrained behavioral patterns that can be lifted when we become aware of ourselves.
Fear then, can also be a tool, a tool of the heart space, my mentor explained. We pick up fear through the physical body, often as pain or discomfort, or perhaps as a feeling, such anxiety. These sensations are meant to be signals to our conscious mind, through our heart space, that we are out of balance. We are meant to put down the tool and then deal with the situation. There are many ways that we can do this, and not all of them involve addressing the issue with an action or a form of physical intervention. It can be a shift in our thought patterns by visualizing positive things, an adjustment in our surroundings to help us feel calmer, honoring ourselves by taking a rest or time to meditate, or engaging in something that changes us on an energetic level. When we learn to be open, to connect with our interiority, and to pay attention to the clues our own bodies are giving us that the original feeling of fear once triggered in us, we have attained one of the most powerful means of healing we have, “ourselves”.